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Beautiful Darkness: 01/30/20
Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann is French graphic novel, published originally in 2009 as Jolies ténèbres. The book opens with a pretty blond girl getting ready to have tea with a prince when suddenly the world falls away and she finds herself and everyone else she knows marooned in a forest.
Aurora, it turns, out is what's left of the inner voice of a school child who has died or perhaps been murdered, in the forest. She and the others literally crawl out of the girls's corpse, primarily through her eyes and ears, implying quite literally that they are (or were) homunculi.
The remainder of the book is the rise and fall of civilization among these once imaginary creatures now made physical through death. The creatures of Aurora's mind (we learn from a notebook that the child's name was also Aurora), are drawn in an early twentieth century cartoon style. While they range from the cute to the grotesque, their actions are often barbaric.
Even Aurora the homunculus whom we've been lead to believe, falsely through her beauty and her apparent refinement, she is just as brutal and heartless as all the others. She ends up being the most brutal and the most determined to do away with the others.
Beautiful Darkness is a stunningly beautiful and equally disturbing read.